If the weather gives you a break from harvesting, or if you're in an area where your crops aren't ready yet, consider heading to the Beck Ag center at the Purdue University Agronomic Research Center on Thursday, Sept 16. You won't want to miss this year's annual ag safety forum, sponsored in part by the Indiana Rural Safety and Health Council.
Bill Field, Extension safety specialist at Purdue University, will release statistics on farm fatalities and farm injuries during the program. However, he intends for the majority of the program to focus on demonstrations and actual visualizations of good and bad practices. That includes everything from keeping augers and other tall implements out of power lines to avoiding tractor rollover accidents.
Tractor accidents continue to account fro about half of all farm fatalities, even though other types of accidents draw attention, Field notes. Grain bin entrapments are dramatic, and often draw media coverage form local media, even metropolitan media. Some of these accidents happen on the farm, but some also happen at commercial facilities. This is prime time to discuss safety measures in grain bin situations since harvest is already in full swing in the southern two-thirds of Indiana.
Part of the Thursday forum will be devoted to educating younger folks in agriculture about safety, Field says. Lisa Chaudion, former president of the Indiana Rural Safety and Health Council, is also affiliated with the Indiana Young Farmers and Indiana FFA through her duties at the Department of Education in Indianapolis. She's helped publicize this program to FFA chapters across Indiana.
Help on transportation costs are available from the council for chapters hat bring a specified number of members. Field intends to run two tracks during the day- one geared to youth activities, and one to adults.
Youth activities will definitely touch on tractor safety, he notes. Activities will be largely hands-on, since that's how kids learn. This is not the first time the forum ahs focused on youth as part of the program. A previous forum held at the Indiana FFA Center near Trafalgar featured activities for FFA youth that involved tractors and tractor safety.
See you at the forum this week!